Thursday, 6 May 2010

Top bar hive

Got my very own top bar hive ready to go now, just in time for any swarm that may come my way. Have had these made for the shop / website.

I've heard a few beekeepers' opinions on this style of hive and method of beekeeping and I'm really keen to get personal experience of how they work in practice, I'm sure its going to be an experience!

These hives are not aimed at major honey production like a National or WBC hive, but are a simple, bee friendly and low cost way of keeping bees.

In an ideal world everyone would have one of these in their back garden, enjoy a small honey crop, and help look after our bee population.

Watch this space for our progress!

Pheromones and an occupied queen cell

Following our earlier check on queen cell building, we were very keen to get that next 'super' on to give the bees a bit more space. First thing we saw when we opened up was this little lady fanning away like mad. There is a pheremone producing gland on the honey bee's bum called the Nasonov gland. This pheremone alerts other bees to the presence of food. Aparently bumble bees use a similar pheremone in this way.

All was looking good inside. lots of happy bees still, you can see all the lovely brood and the pollen and nectar in the cells.

Checked out one of those empty queen cells we saw last visit and lo and behold we had an occupant this time- that little white dash is a potential new queen. Welcome to swarm season!